Monday Morning 15 Minute Circuit

I’m sensing a theme lately on the old blog roll – desserts, pasta, breakfast recipes, etc. It’s 100% true… cooking has replaced physical activity for me these last few weeks! This seems to be the case when my training schedule ends after a few key races and I have a couple of weeks before I need to start running again. I’ve hit the point where even though I don’t have a long race to train for, I’m starting to go crazy!!

Last week, I started a new morning routine to add in some strength training to mix it up a bit. Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I set my alarm about 30 minutes earlier than usual to get out of bed and complete the super quick and efficient 15 minute circuit.

I do a series of 5 exercises back to back with little rest, that work a combo of muscle groups and leave my body fired up and sweaty. All images below are from Women’s Health Mag – my favorite subscription!

First, I start with pushups. Full disclosure – I am working my way up to legitimate pushups. No shame here. I can do a couple, but my form is terrible and it’s always my triceps that are sore and not my chest when I’m done. So, to correct these obvious mistakes, I am actually doing “wall pushups”. I stand about 2 feet away from the wall, assume traditional pushup position, with my hands directly under my shoulders and work through 30 reps. I am such a beginner, that I break those already modified pushups into 2 sets of 15. Gotta start somewhere!

Either between sets of pushups, or after I complete all 30, I move into 4 reps of 30 second planks. I go for the lower to the ground version, with my forearms flat on the ground and my arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Not only do these work my ab muscles more, but they are easier on my wrists that planks with straight arms.

Now on to the good stuff. With the help of my big-gunned bf, I put together a series of 3 combo moves to repeat 2-3 times in a fast moving circuit.

1. Squat to overhead press – holding a 5 pound weight in each hand, elbows bent and weight at shoulders, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your back straight. Push back into a standing position, and lift your arms straight in the air over your head for one squat/press combo. Repeat 10 times.

2. Roman deadlift to row to tricep extension – holding a 5 pound weight in each hand, arms straight and weight in front of your thighs, bend at your waist until your back is parallel to the ground, keeping your arms, back and legs straight. Pull your arms up, bending at the elbow (seen in position C below). From here, I add in one more combo and extend the weights beside my hips and behind my back for a tricep extension. 3 in 1 – not bad! Repeat 10 times.

3. Calf raise to bicep curl – holding a 5 pound weight in each hand, arms straight and weight by your sides, lift onto your tippy-toes and simutaneously bend at the elbow, bringing the weights towards your shoulders for a traditional curl. As you release your feet back to the flat ground, slowly lower your curl to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Once you’ve completed the first round of 3 combo exercises, repeat the circuit 2-3 times.

For a last and final move, add in 2-30 second reverse planks. Sitting on the ground, put your hands behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your toes and hands directly under your shoulders. Lift at the hips until your body is in a straight line, arms perpendicular to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice.

Now…shower, tea, smoothie and metro to work! I’m already noticing a difference in my mood on M/W/F’s – more energized, happier and productive throughout the day. Great way to kick off and end the work week!

Now, if I can just get back to a running schedule! Aiming for 20 miles this week! 🙂

(via Pretty Stuff)

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2 thoughts on “Monday Morning 15 Minute Circuit

  1. Sitting here reading your Monday am blog drinking my coffee and thinking about how I need to get into the early morning exercise routine again gets me to thinking it all starts with about 30 minutes. Violet says good morning.

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